The circle is now complete: 10 years of Revenge of the Sith

star_wars_episode_three_ver2The year 2005: An elegant time in a more civilized movie age.

But that’s just my opinion.

It’s also my opinion that Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is among my top five films ever.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of why I love Episode III as much as I do or why your anger toward it is misguided and will lead you down a dark path full of hate and suffering.

I’m just here to reminisce about May 19, 2005.

Ten years ago today, I was 14 and in the waning days of eighth grade.

This was back before high school, women, college and $20,000 in grad school student debt ruined everything that wasn’t nailed down.

On May 19, 2005, all I cared about was seeing Revenge of the Sith as soon as possible.

Since I was 14 and the movie was being released on a Thursday, a school night, there was no way my parents were going to let me stay out the night before to see the midnight showing (My first midnight showing wouldn’t come until The Incredible Hulk in 2008).

Late that afternoon, I joined my mom in her blue Dodge Durango (which I now own) and we made our way to the Malco Towne Cinema north of us in Rogers, Arkansas. At the time it was the best theater in Northwest Arkansas, mostly because it had stadium seating.

It was the same theater I had seen Episode II: Attack of the Clones in three years earlier and other event movies, including Superman Returns the following year.

Malco-550x367

As I sat shotgun to my mom, I re-read the ending to the Star Wars book “Labyrinth of Evil” by James Luceno, a direct prequel to Episode III and one of the few old Expanded Universe books I still own.

As my family waited in line for our showing, I remember seeing a giant banner for the movie hanging in the lobby. The tagline read “The circle is now complete.”

Simple and perfect.

Sometime later marked the first time I ever cried during a movie. It came as I watched clone troopers execute Order 66 and characters I had grown up with since I was 8 years old.

Before I knew it, the Clone Wars were over and the Dark Times were upon us. I sat in my seat stunned as the credits rolled and the lights rose.

I now lived in a world where there wouldn’t be any more Star Wars movies. As the banner had said, the circle was now complete. George Lucas had finished telling his story. There was nothing left to be told except in books, comics and-

Wait? What’s that you say?

2008-star_wars_the_clone_wars-1

Oh, yeah.

Three years later, George Lucas unleashed “The Clone Wars” animated series, complete with a middling theatrical premiere.

And now here we sit on May 19, 2015. Disney owns Lucasfilm, the “Clone Wars” has ended after an impressive six-year run and has already been replaced by another superb series, “Rebels.”

We are also seven months away from experiencing the return of Star Wars to the theater on December 18th with the J.J. Abrams directed, Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Now, I find myself in the same position the previous generation of Star Wars found themselves in 1999 in the months leading up to The Phantom Menace: impatiently waiting for something that can never live up to more than a decade of expectations.

Right?

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About Daniel McFadin

NASCAR writer for NBCSports.com. Former Sporting News intern. Graduated from IUPUI in Indianapolis with a master in sports journalism in 2014 and from Arkansas State University in 2013 with a degree in Journalism. Originally from Lewisville, Texas, now in Fort Worth. Ask me if I like Star Wars. I dare you.
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